Countryside Kids

MISSION: Countryside's ministry to children and youth is an inclusive community building lifelong Christians who gather together, grow in their faith, and go into the world.


CORE VALUES:

  • Leadership: Preparing to be bold change-makers in the community
  • Acceptance: An inclusive community, welcoming all children and youth
  • Faith: Continually growing as a follower of Jesus
  • Grace: Loved and valued by God no matter what
  • Relationship: We have fun with friends while building respectful connections with self, peers, and adults.
  • Safety: We diligently attend to the physical and emotional safety of all who gather in our church community.

Learn more below about Countryside Kids, including our Sunday morning & Wednesday night programs, worship, and our current safety & health guidelines.


Interested in volunteering in Children's Ministry? Contact Becky Ericson to join our Countryside Kids Crew.

More information regarding our Safe Gatherings Policy can be found here.


Contact Becky Ericson, Children's Ministry Coordinator for more information.


click here to register for countryside kids


countryside kids calendar

Food Truck Party VBC

Food Truck Party VBC is coming! Students entering kindergarten through 5th grade are invited to join the fun June 26-July 1 from 9am-noon. Registration is limited! Learn more and sign up today! 


  Learn more...

Our Children's Ministries

Newborn - age 5

From 9:20am-noon, Sunday morning child care is available for newborn through age five in room 116 of the education wing. Please be sure to stop at the check-in area first before bringing children to the nursery.

Sunday School Groups

Children's Sunday Small Groups (Sunday School) for preschool through grade 5 meet at 9:30 and small groups for grades 1-5 meet at 11am. Groups meet from September through most of June. Learn more below! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up on the latest news!

Wednesday Night for kids

During the school year, children in 1st - 5th grade are invited to join the fun Wednesdays nights, with worship and group games from 6-6:20, bells and Bible story rotations from 6:25-7:15, and group games/gathering from 7:15-7:30. Meets most weeks beginning after Labor Day through the first Wednesday in May! Learn more below!

special events & family ministry

Countryside offers a variety of special events and family opportunities. Bitty Bells is a special bell ringing opportunity for our preschool friends. Subscribe to our Countryside Kids newsletter or follow us on Facebook to keep up on the latest!

checking in at countryside

For in-person programs, plan to stop by our children's check-in area upon arrival (located by the education wing entrance - look for CHILDREN on the wall). Students can head to their Sunday Small Groups or Wednesdays for Kids as early as 10 minutes before the start time. At this time, masks are required for all people over the age of 2 who are participating in children's ministry activities.

Worshipping with Children

For children in worship with their families, children are able to create their own worship bag to use in the sanctuary with coloring pages, toys and books to look at during worship.  Special worship bulletins that tie into the day’s sermon are also available for students in preschool-6th grade. Children’s messages are offered at all services (currently by video). Children and youth in 3rd grade and up may serve as acolytes (candle lighters) at the 11am service.


We also offer a special Family Worship Room along the main sanctuary hall. This room streams the worship service and offers rocking chairs and comfortable seating for parents, along with toys, books and a small slide for children who need to move during worship. Additionally, our fellowship area includes a coffee bar with a variety of options (including hot cocoa) and another seating area where the 9:30 and 11am services are streamed.


Changing tables are available in restrooms throughout the facility, including both the men's and women's restrooms outside the sanctuary.

SUNDAY MORNING CHILDCARE


Countryside United Methodist Church offers Child Care for our youngest disciples, children ages 6 weeks through 5 years old. These services are provided on Sunday mornings from 9:15-noon and for some weeknight activities. Care is provided by our trained and certified staff who want to share God's love to the highest degree as they care for your children in a safe, warm, welcoming environment.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT: When bringing your children to childcare, please stop first at our Children's Check-In Area just outside the education wing. If you are visiting for the first time, be sure to check in with a phone number that will be accessible, as our staff will use your check-in for contact information should they need to reach you.


Once checked in, take your child to Room 116 where our childcare staff will be ready to welcome you. Please make sure any diaper bags or essential items your child needs are labeled. Please keep your phones on vibrate so that our staff can reach you if necessary. When worship or Sunday School concludes, pick up your child from Room 116. We also request a full registration form be completed annually for any children participating in Countryside Kids programming. The link to this form is below.


CHILDCARE OUTSIDE OF SUNDAY MORNINGS: If not already provided during your group's meeting time, please request child care by submitting this form. Requests must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting or event.

 

PLEASE NOTE: This form is only for Countryside UMC Church events. Visit the Countryside Child Development Center for inquiries and further information about weekday childcare and preschool opportunities.


Register for Countryside Kids HERE

SUnday SMall Groups from 9:30-10:30, Ages 3 - 5th Grade

Small Groups for ages 3 years - 5th grade meet  on Sundays from 9:30-10:30 (first Sunday after Labor Day through mid to late June).


Children 3 years through 5th grade are invited to join Sunday Small Groups from 9:30-10:30. 


Preschool/kindergarten* students meet in Room 107, where their classroom leaders will guide them in a Bible story, age-appropriate activities and/or crafts, and free play time. 


Elementary students* head to Room 210 (the gathering room), where all ages will hear this week's Bible story and participate in worship. Following worship, kids move into smaller age-based groups when able with 1st-3rd grade moving to Room 209 and 4th-5th to Room 206. During small group time, students engage in our Bible story through a variety of activities and crafts. 


*SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT KINDERGARTEN AND SIXTH GRADE: 

Families of kindergarten students may choose between our early childhood small group or our early elementary small group. The preschool room includes developmentally appropriate lessons and free play time - perfect for students with lots of energy and creativity. The 1st-3rd grade room will be more structured, with fun games and crafts to reinforce the Bible story.


We are currently in the process of transition 6th grade to our youth program. We encourage 6th grade students to join in and get to know other students their age in youth group, but always welcome those who feel more comfortable spending an additional year in the elementary programming.


If you have not completed a registration form for this year, please complete one prior to attending your first Wednesdays for Kids or Sunday Small Group.

Register for Countryside Kids HERE

Sunday SMall Groups from 11:00-noon, 1st-5th Grade

Students in 1st- 5th grade are invited to join Sunday Small Groups from 9:30-10:30 (first Sunday after Labor Day through mid to late June).


Check-in outside the education wing upon arrival at Countryside. Once checked in, elementary students head to the sanctuary to participate in opening worship. Students may sit with their parents or sit in the front pews with Countryside Kids Crew. Experiencing worship is important for this age group and there is developing research that indicates children are more likely to stay with their faith when they are older if they observe and participate in worship with a parent/guardian. After the children's message, all students will leave and head to their Sunday Small Group in Room 209. During small group time, students will follow a monthly theme where we engage in a Bible story through a variety of activities and crafts. Parents and guardians should plan to pick students up from this room at noon. 


SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT KINDERGARTEN AND SIXTH GRADE: 

We encourage kindergarten students to join us in small groups from 9:30-11:30 am, where we have a variety of options to meet their needs. If that time does not work with your schedule, kindergarten students are welcome to try the 11am small group out to see if it is a good fit for them.


We are currently in the process of transition 6th grade to our youth program. We encourage 6th grade students to join in and get to know other students their age in youth group, but always welcome those who feel more comfortable spending an additional year in the elementary programming.


If you have not completed a registration form for this year, please complete one prior to attending your first Wednesdays for Kids or Sunday Small Group.

Register for Countryside Kids HERE

wednesdays for Kids

Wednesdays for Kids, our mid-week programming, is available from 6-7:30pm for students in 1st-5th most weeks beginning after Labor Day and running through the first week of May. 


Visit the check-in station, then head to our big gathering area (Room 210) in the upper level of the education wing (doors open at 6:20). At Wednesdays for Kids, we keep the kids moving with worship and camp-style group games from 6-6:20, followed by rotations of bells and Bible story from 6:20 -7:15. We will wrap up the evening with a few more camp-style games back in the Gathering Room (Room 210) where parents/guardians can pick their student up at 7:30pm. 


If you have not completed a registration form for this year, please complete one prior to attending your first Wednesdays for Kids or Sunday Small Group.

Register for Countryside Kids HERE

Health & Safety NOtes

Countryside UMC utilizes the Safe Gatherings program of certification with our staff and volunteer crew. Certified individuals have undergone a background check and taken an abuse prevention and detection training program online. We require having two unrelated adults present for all programming (or one adult, one youth), with the adults/youth at least 5 years older than they age they are serving. Additional training is provided on an ongoing basis to help volunteers and staff best meet the needs of the children of Countryside.


For more details about our safety and health protocols, please check out our parent handbook. Please note that the handbook and our health policies are always a work in progress. Specifically, our COVID-19 policies will change to reflect the needs of the demographic we are serving in the context of our current community conditions.

Participating From Home

Unable to join us in person? Countryside and Countryside Kids offer a variety of options for growing in your faith at home!


Join live worship services at 9:30 or 11am every Sunday on our Facebook Page or YouTube Channel. Worship features a Children's Message with a weekly Family Faith Moment to give parents and guardians ideas of simple things they can do at home to share your faith and encourage your children.


Subscribe to our weekly Children's Ministry Newsletter, and you will receive links to each week's Bible story video. Want to take it a step further? There is a "parent guide" for home that provides some simple activities you can do at home to add to the Bible story. The newsletter also features links to the weekly ParentCue, a description of that week's Bible story lesson and some tips on keeping the discussion going at home. For students in elementary school, links are provided to age-appropriate devotionals based on the week's Bible story.


Be sure to follow Countryside Kids on Facebook. We regularly post ideas and tips based on our Sunday Small Group and Wednesdays for Kids lessons.

celebrating milestones

More information to come!

Special Events & Family Ministry

More information to come!


Seasonal events include Christmas activities, Easter Egg Discovery, Vacation Bible Camp (VBC), end of VBC/summer family pool party, and presentation of Bibles to our third grade students.